Madison WI Real Estate Blog

Top Madison Area Festivals for July 2017

Festivals throughout the summer are a huge social gathering in Madison, Wisconsin. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which ones to go to and which ones to skip. Here's a look at some of the top choices for July 2017.

Lodi Agricultural Fair - July 6th to 9th

Held at the Fairgrounds in Lodi, Wisconsin, this fun event will include softball, music, raffles, a demolition derby, horse pulls, carnival rides and so much more. It's a great choice for the entire family.

Art Fair Off the Square - July 8th and 9th

The Monona Terrace Community and Convention center in Madison will host the Art Fair Off the Square event. This two-day event will show off about 140 different Wisconsin artists with plenty of food and fun. Check out the art and enjoy the unexpected at this popular event.

Mount Horeb Art Fair - July 15th and 16th

Another art event found in Downtown Mount Horeb, the Mount Horeb Art Fair provides all types of beautiful art along the historic Main Street. It will include plenty of food, a silent auction, music, raffles and plenty of fun for everybody.

Dane County Fair - July 19th to 23rd

One of the premier events of the summer, the Dane County Fair will be held at the Alliant Energy Center. This family-friendly event includes plenty of fun rides, nightly concerts, animals, excellent food and so much more. It's the place to go this July and one event you won't want to miss.

Midwest Fire Fest - July 22nd and 23rd

A unique event held in Cambridge, Wisconsin, the Midwest Fire Fest will include plenty of art forged in fire....

Top Madison, Wisconsin Area Place for Fireworks

The 4th of July is nearly here and that means it's time for fireworks! Finding the best place to go for fireworks isn't always easy, but there are some great events throughout Dane County you can enjoy this year. All of the events listed below include fireworks, which will start around 9:20pm.

Monona Community Festival - July 3rd and 4th

This annual event helps to celebrate Independence Day the right way. It will include plenty of fun with great food, live music and all kinds of activities. The festival includes a Car Show, Keg Toss Tournament, Art Fair, Hole-in-One Contest, Wisconsin Wife Carrying Championship Race and even a Carnival.

Of course, fireworks will be a part of the event on the 4th of July. They will be held on Tuesday night and will start right around 9:20pm. This event will be held at Winnequah Park in Monona, Wisconsin.

Shorewood Hills 4th of July Celebration - July 3rd and 4th

Another huge event happening near Madison, the Shorewood Hills 4th of July Celebration will start on July 3rd at 8:30pm with the Independence Day Dance. This event will include DJs laying great music with refreshments and it is family-friendly. On Tuesday, the celebration will continue with the "Tri-It" Triathlon, a Softball Game, a Bake Sale, the Village Art Fair, a Parade, plenty of games, Waterfights and a Family Picnic. Of course, the event will also close with fireworks beginning at dusk. This celebration will be held at the Blackhawk Country Club.

WaunaBoom!! - July 4th

Held in Waunakee, Wisconsin, this event will provide plenty of fun for the 4th of July. It will be...

Millennials Love Madison & The Midwest

Madison, along with other cities in the Midwest have started to attract a large number of millennial homebuyers. The affordability and large number of amenities are two of the main reasons this area of the county has become popular for millennials. While retirees may be looking to escape to a  warmer climate, younger generations love Madison because of the many things it has to offer, especially the five awesome lakes.

In addition, millennials tend to enjoy college towns. Madison is at the top of the list for college towns followed by Omaha, Minneapolis, Columbus and Des Moines. These areas tend to be very popular for millennial homebuyers throughout the Midwestern area of the United States.

More than Lakes and Universities

Madison, Wisconsin isn't just a city with universities and lakes, however. Millennials love these two cool features, but, they also love the zoo, Monona Terrace, the farmer's markets, Olbrich Gardens, the incredible trails and the many other attractions found throughout. Of course, there are plenty of sports to both play and watch and the restaurants are rather amazing, too. In fact, Madison has been named as a top foodie destination in the past, which lines up with what millennials seek.

With 2017 expected to see about one-third of the homebuyers from the millennial generation, it shouldn't be surprising they are flocking to Madison and other Midwestern cities. Many are returning to their alma mater or their...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 6/14/2017

In the latest episode of the The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik covers a few great condos in the Downtown Madison area and one in Fitchburg. Josh also covers a few of the benefits of living in a condo, along with the current real estate market.

With the competitive buyers market currently going on throughout Madison, Wisconsin, many buyers are getting beat out by multiple offers. This certainly makes finding and buying the right new homes or condo challenging. Now is the time to sell. If you're looking to buy or sell in Madison, Contact our team and let us help you get your home sold for the best price possible.


How to Properly Photograph Your Home Before Listing it

When it's time to sell your Madison area home, you need the right real estate agent. In addition, you need the best possible pictures for the online listings. If you don't have good pictures, it will be hard for any real estate agent to really do their job and get your home sold.

Usually, your real estate agent will provide some advice for taking the pictures. Some will take the pictures for you or recommend a good professional. If you have the ability to use a professional with experience in real estate pictures, this may be the best way to go. However, if you will be taking your own pictures, here are a few tips to help you get the best pictures possible.

Pay Attention to the Camera Angle

If you have a tripod, it may come in handy when taking pictures of your home for your listing. You want to make sure you have good camera angles and a steady surface can certainly help. Keep the camera level when you take the picture to ensure potential buyers can see your home from a good angle.

Get a Picture from the Curb

You've already created the best curb appeal you can with new landscaping, maybe a little paint and other quick fixes. Now, you need a great picture of that curb appeal for potential buyers to see. Make sure you get the best picture possible and get all the unnecessary things out of the ay first. Remove bikes, garbage cans, toys, cars and anything else distracting.

Keep Decorations to a Minimum

Staging your home properly before the pictures is a huge plus. If you won't be staging, make sure you eliminate any unnecessary items. Get rid of any old holiday decor or anything that makes your home look too personal. Then, when you take the pictures, it will help to show your audience the home as a bit of a blank...

Dane County New Construction Condo Projects

Madison has seen the condo lifestyle grow over the past few years with millennials looking for their first home and baby boomers looking for maintenance-free living. Condominiums fit with many lifestyles and provide a more affordable option compared to single-family homes.

Over the past few years, the market in Madison has changed quite a bit. Condo sales have become very competitive, which has spurred plenty of new construction projects. Here's a look at some of the best new construction condos found throughout Dane County.

Condo Projects in Madison

Madison has five new condo projects to choose from, which include:

  • Villas at Secret Places - Zoned for the McFarland School District with a Madison address, this project provides many three bedroom/two bathroom units with prices starting under $300K.
  • Hawks Woods - Found in the Far West areas of Madison, this condo project is selling quickly. These are ranch-style condos starting around $300K.
  • Starliner Condominiums - Found on East Mifflin Street, some excellent spaces are found here. The project includes 43 condos with prices starting around $300K and going up to about $500K.
  • Bentley Green - High-end condos in the Far West area of Madison, these condos are close to Hawks Landing Golf Club.

Hawks Reserve - Another project found near Hawks Landing Golf Club, these condos are upscale choices starting at prices lower than $300K.

Condos in Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie has two condo projects, which are Pleasant Meadows and Simply Home Condominiums. Pleasant...

5 Great Ways to Honor Dad for Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up very quickly. If you're looking for some great ideas for dad this year, here are five in Madison to honor dad on his special day.

Fishing with Dad

If you and your dad love to fish, head to Lake Mendota, Lake Monona or one of the other area lakes. You'll find plenty of great places to enjoy the fresh air, get some sunshine and catch some great fish. Rent a boat or fish form the land and you're sure to find the time to catch up with dad and have plenty of fun.

Historic Tours

If your dad loves history, head to the Wisconsin Historical Museum or one of the many other area museums. Touring one of the Madison area museums will allow you and dad time to talk, discover something new and learn about the history of the area.

Brewery Tours

There are several great breweries found around Madison, WI. If you and dad love to share a beer together, enjoy one of the Hop Head Tours or head to the Capital Brewery for a tour. The Hop Head Tours are held on Sundays and will let you discover a few great breweries as you take the time to learn about the process of brewing beer. Of course, you'll get to enjoy some samples, too.

Take Dad Golfing

Choose one of the many great golf courses throughout Madison and hit the links. Vitense Golfland provides a good choice...

Upcoming Summer Festivals Near Madison, WI

Plenty of festivals happen every year throughout the Madison area. In fact, for many residents, the summer is their favorite time of year because of the many events. While the abundance of outdoor fun may have you excited, the upcoming festivals near Madison, Wisconsin might just put you over the edge.

If you're looking for something fun, you have plenty of great options. Parades, festivals, food, live entertainment and more are on deck this summer. Here's a quick look at some of the top upcoming summer festivals near Madison.

Waterfront Festival - June 10th & 11th

Coming up right around the corner, the Waterfront Festival is a great way to get your summer started. It will be held at Yahara Place Park on the northern shore of Lake Monona. This festival will include plenty of fun with a goal of raising funds for MNA through sponsorship, concessions and donations.

4th Annual Bacon, Brew & BBQ Fest – June 24th

An adult event for those 21 and older, the Bacon, Brew & BBQ Fest is a huge event with plenty of fun. It will feature Jones Dairy Farm serving up Bacon-infused appetizers, entrees, drinks, desserts, soups and dips. Along with the bacon, there will be hundreds of craft beers on hand and so much more. The festival covers about eight acres of space with activities, such as Ladder Ball, Bag Toss, Volleyball and more.

Oregon Summer Fest – June 22nd to 25th

Held at Kiser Firemen's Park in Oregon, WI, this festival will help to raise money for the Oregon area Chamber of Commerce. It's a fun filled event with plenty of activities all centered around the community with a focus on four areas: Promote, Inform, Connect and Advocate.

WaunaFest 2017 - July 27th to 29th


April 2017 Market Recap

A lack of supply with strong market demand continues for 2017 in April throughout Dane County. Even with low interest rates, positive job reports, stronger demand from buyers and high consumer confidence ratings, sales of condominiums and single family homes have not reached their potential due to a lack of inventory. Dane County continues to see an active inventory of less than two months, which makes five months in a row now.

Six months of active inventory usually means the market is very balanced between sellers and buyers. However, with only 1,070 active listings at the end of April, the inventory is lower than it has been in Dane County since 1997, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS Report.. April saw 663 sales in Dane County, which was 12% lower than the same month las year when buyers had 35% more listings to choose from.

While listings are down, the monthly median sales price is up. For the 20th time in the last 21 months, the median sales price went up. It's 6.4% higher over the past 12 months and reached $250K.

Active listings continue to be the problem with only 980 new listings in Dane County for April 2017 compared to 1,085 for April 2016 and 1,156 for April 2015. The lack of listings has caused the number of sales to drop, as well.

Now is the time for anybody looking to sell a house or condo to get it listed. Dane County is a seller's market with a lack of inventory causing prices to go up and plenty of properties are getting multiple offers. Buyers are waiting, so don't hesitate if you've been thinking about selling.


Madison is Known as the Unofficial Bike Capital of the Midwest

Madison provides so many benefits for cyclists; it has been dubbed at the "Unofficial Bike Capital of the Midwest." Whether you're commuting to work, trying to get exercise or just want to get out in nature, there are plenty of biking opportunities throughout the city.

Miles and miles of trails are found throughout the Greater Madison area. The best time to ride is throughout the summer and fall, but bike enthusiast will even head out when snow is on the ground.

Biking Makes Madison the Healthiest City

While more than just biking goes into the factors to name Madison the healthiest city, it's a huge part of the ranking. ranked Madison as one of America's healthiest cities in 2015 due to the huge number of recreational opportunities and active citizens.

Neighborhoods provide well-maintained paths for biking, which helps make citizens active. The UW-Madison Arboretum Trail and many others make it easy to get out on a bike and get some exercise in.

More Bikes than Cars

It may seem unlikely, but it's true, Madison has more bikes than cars. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists' gave Madison the Platinum status back in November of 2015 because of the biking. The city was one of only four to receive this status. Even communities around Madison, such as Monona, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg and Middleton received accolades from the League of American Bicyclists'. Madison also received platinum status from the ...

Your Guide to Madison, WI Neighborhood Pools

Summer is almost here, which means it's nearly time to head to the pool. Throughout Madison, there are several neighborhood swimming pools for children and adults to enjoy. Many of the pools offer memberships, while others offer paid admission to the public. Here's a quick guide to some of the best neighborhood pools found throughout Madison.

Parkcrest Pool

Found in the Parkwood Hill neighborhood, this swimming pool was built before many of the homes in the neighborhood. It includes areas for diving, lap swimming and for kitchens. The pool area also offers basketball and tennis.

This is a membership pool, which includes swimming and diving lessons. It also includes access to tennis and basketball leagues with something for all ages.

Monona Community Pool

A 300,000-gallon swimming pool with a water slide, the Monona Community Pool is a great choice for the summer. It will even host the All City Dive Meet in July, which will be fun for spectators.

The swimming pool includes eight lanes for lap swim, a wading pool, two diving boards, a water slide and a concession stand. Admission is $4 for adult residents and $3 for children. Non-residents can get in for $5 and seniors received a discounted admission of $3.

Evening swim is also offered Monday through Thursday from 7pm to 9pm for just $2 per person. Season passes are also available and range from $45 to $190.

Goodman Pool

Opening on June 9th and staying open through Labor Day Weekend, the Goodman pool is one of the top choices in the area. It was the first municipal swimming pool and opened in 2006. This swimming pool offers plenty of fun with water slides, lap swimming...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 5/17/2017

In the latest episode of the The Real Estate News, Josh Lavik covers a few homes for sale in great neighborhoods, such as Sun Prairie and  Southwest Madison. Josh also covers the current issues with the shortage of homes for sale.

Many buyers are a bit dissapointed right now due to the lack of home inventory throughout the Madison area. Many of the best properties are selling with multiple offers, which has presented a challenge for buyers. Now is a great time to list your home, if you're considering a move. Contact our team and let us help you get your home sold for the best price possible.


Why Isn't Your Home Selling?

Sellers have been favored in the Madison real estate market for many months now. In fact, if your house isn't selling, it's a bit of an anomaly right now. With less inventory than necessary, it shouldn't be hard to get your home sold.

However, if you’re struggling to sell your home, there could be a reason behind it. Here are some of the top reasons your home may not be selling in Madison.

The Price

Setting the right price makes a huge difference. Too high of a price and you'll scare off potential buyers. If you set a list price too low, buyers may wonder what's wrong with the home.

Pricing is the top reasons a home doesn't sell in any real estate market. When you set the right price, it will sell and in a seller's market, it will sell fast.

Sellers often set too high of a price due to emotional attachment. Hiring a good real estate agent can give you an objective opinion and help you set the right price for your home.

Not Properly Staged

An un-staged home means it could be too personal for buyers. When you still have family pictures up and your decor everywhere, it may not appeal to a large enough audience.

Buyers need to see the home as their own, not yours. Staging will not only help to take you out of the home, but will also give you better listing pictures. Both of these can help get your home sold faster and for a better price.

Poor Marketing

If you're trying to sell your home on your own, it may not be listed on MLS. You may also be missing the social media buzz you need to get your home sold. Even if you hired a real estate agent, they may not be marketing your home...

Best Bike Trails Found Throughout Madison, WI

Miles of bike trails are found all throughout Madison. Whether you prefer a park trail or a road trail, there are plenty of choices all throughout the city. Here's a look at some of the top bike trails in Madison, Wisconsin.

Capital City State Trail

Providing the link between Glacial Drumlin State Trail and Military Ridge state Trail, Capital City State Trail provides nine miles of trails throughout the Capital Springs State Recreation Area. It follows seven miles of bikeways in the city from Nob Hill to the east site of Madison. There's a one-mile link on Verona Road in Fitchburg, which connects the trail to the Military Ridge State Park.

Quarry Ridge Recreation Area Trails

More than three miles of off-road and freeride bike trails are provides with inclines and drops. Those looking for more of a challenge will love these bike trails. The recreation area has trails rated from beginner to expert with views of the pond and plenty more. You can also gain direct access to the Military Ridge State Trail here.

Military Ridge State Trail

A 40-mile trail in Iowa and Dane Counties, the Military Ridge State Trail provides plenty of great biking. It's very close to the connection of Badger and Capital City state trails in Fitchburg and a new 6-mile section is included called the Shake Rag Trail. It's a pretty level trail with smooth asphalt and limestone surfaces. A 2.5-mile section from in Verona and Fitchburg has been paved for in-line skating and easier...

Visit the Henry Vilas Zoo This Summer

A 28-acre public zoo located in Madison, the Henry Vilas Zoo provides plenty of great fun for the entire family. It's visited by about 750,000 people every year and for good reason. If you're looking for something fun to do with the family this summer, visit the zoo.


The Henry Vilas Zoo provides a number of different exhibits including:

  • Tropical Rainforest Aviary
  • North American Prairie
  • Arctic Passage
  • Primate House
  • Children's Zoo
  • Wisconsin Heritage
  • Big Cat Exhibits
  • And More!

You'll discover all types of animals and wildlife all throughout the zoo. Children will get to see plenty of different animals and experience something unique.


There are several different animals you will discover at the zoo from all over the world. Animals from Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and South America are found at the zoo. Some of the animals you will find here include:

  • Black Sans
  • Alpaca
  • Polar Bears
  • Harbor Seals
  • Grizzly Bears
  • North American River Otter
  • African Lion
  • Aardvark
  • Ostrich
  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • Koi
  • Amur Tiger
  • And More!

Discover all the animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Zoo History

William and Anna Vilas gave the city of Madison 50 acres of land back in 1904 with the condition of using the land for a public park and pleasure ground. The zoo was named after their son Henry, who died of diabetes at a very young age. The family also asked the city to make the park admission-free.

In 1911, the land given was partitioned...

A Quick Guide to the Madison Bike Share Program

The bicycle share program in Madison is known as B-Cycle. This program allows you to choose from 40 different stations found throughout the city. You get to select a bike and hit the road with greener, healthier transportation.

What is Madison B-Cycle?

A bikeshare program helping revolutionize the city of Madison, B-Cycle provides bikes for members and non-members to use to get around town. You can ride wherever you want to go after you've checked out a bike. Memberships allow you to check out one bike at a time and you get unlimited checkouts during your membership timeframe.

The goal of B-Cycle is to encourage residents to use bikes for short trips. Some memberships allow for longer trips, but most are for 30 to 60 minute trips. However, you can always dock your B-Cycle bike and check it out again.

How Does B-Cycle Work?

It all starts with purchasing a membership online. You can choose a day, month or year-long membership. If you don't want to purchase a membership, B-Cycle offers walk-up pricing at all B-station Kiosks.

After you have a membership, you will check out a bike. Those with a month or year-long membership will receive a B-card in the mail, which allows for faster unlocking of bikes. Until you receive your card, you can sign in at the kiosk to get your bike and use the same credit card you used for your membership.

Once you've checked out your bike, you can head out for a ride for up to 30 minutes. If you need longer, it does cost extra. This helps to encourage cyclists to return bikes keeping plenty available for all members.

After you've gone for your ride or arrived at your destination, simply return the bike and you're all set.


3 Stunning Country Clubs Near Madison

Wisconsin is home to more than 500 golf courses. Some of the best courses are found throughout Madison, including three incredible country clubs. If you're looking for a private club to join, here are three you should put high on your list.

Stoughton Country Club

Found in the City of Stoughton, this country club goes back to 1899. It's located on the shores of Lake Kegonsa. The course was built on local farm land and originally covered nine holes.

Before it became what it is today, Stoughton Country Club was destroyed by fire and tornado. Today, it's a private club with 18 holes and measures 6,355 yards. It's not a long course, but does provide many great perks for gold and social membership.

Along with the golf course, the country club provides a pier with a dock, restaurant facilities and a clubhouse.

Blackhawk Country Club

A pure golf club with nothing else, Blackhawk Country Club provides some of the finest views you will find in the Madison area. It's an 18-hole golf course measuring 6,193 yards. Along with the course, golfers enjoy the driving range, putting green, golf academy, junior programs and more.

Blackhawk Country Club is actually listed on the National Park Service's Register for Historic Places. It's located in Shorewood Hills on the shores of Lake Mendota and provides one of the best choices for private facilities in the area.

Maple Bluff Country Club

Another great choice in Madison is Maple Bluff Country Club. It's a great place to call home and the golf course provides plenty of challenge throughout. It was originally created as a five-hole course in 1899, but today...

March 2017 Market Recap

Sales for both single-family homes and condominiums in Dane County fell 8.7% in March 2017 compared to March 2016. A large portion of the decline in sales is due to lower than normal inventory of active listings, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS Report.

Monthly medial sales throughout Dane County increased year-over-year for the 19th month out of the last 20. Median sales prices for single-family homes have risen 6% over the past 12 months, while condominium prices have gone up 9.6%.

The lack of active inventory has had an impact on Dane County. March 2017 showed only 1.7 months of active inventory for single family homes and only 1.3 months for condos. For the real estate market to be considered as a balanced market, about six months of active inventory is necessary.

Throughout the rest of spring and into summer, the inventory for existing and new homes and condos will play a large part in whether sales are as high as they can be. Other factors are not having as much of an impact with interest rates up just slightly, the economy improving and the job market providing more stability.

Homeowners looking to sell in Dane County, now is the time. Buyers are ready to make an offer and it's certainly a sellers’ market right now.


Veridian Homes: Building Top Communities in Madison

Veridian Homes is known as one of the top home builders in the Madison with a number of great communities within the area. The company provides a number of excellent home plans and they are well-known for building green, energy-efficient options. If you're looking to start the new construction home process, Veridian Homes may be the right choice for you.

What to Expect with Veridian Homes

Veridian Homes does everything possible to make the home building process easy. You get to use the design studio to select many features including flooring, siding, countertops, faucets and so much more. This makes it every easy to customize your home to fit your specific tastes.

With more than 60 years of building experience, Veridian homes has provided many high quality, healthy homes throughout Dane County. You'll work with a new home specialist to ensure you understand every step in the process. With a commitment to incredible customer service, Veridian Homes has built a reputation as Madison's top home builder.

Veridian Homes Neighborhoods

Veridian Homes places many of their neighborhoods in convenient locations close to restaurants, schools, parks and shopping. Currently, there are 19 new communities featuring Veridian Homes as the builder. Some of the top communities include:

  • Daybreak Valley in Middleton - Featuring a quiet environment with incredible shopping and dining nearby, Daybreak Valley is a very charming option from Veridian Homes.
  • Spruce Hollow in Town of Middleton - A golf course community with plenty of trails and endless amenities, Spruce Hollow is located near West Towne Mall....